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Apostolic Spirituality and charism of Marcellin Champagnat



Mahatamana Marist Camp

16/02/2010: Madagascar

The General Chapter of the Marist Brothers in 2001 requested that the Marist Apostolic Spirituality and charism of Marcellin Champagnat be encouraged and be made more accessible to a wider audience. Amongst the other lay Marists of Marcellin all over the world, we members of the Marist family of Madagascar are also called to live out the Marist call and spirituality.

For this purpose, a Marist camp was organised on December 27 and 28 2009, at the Reception Centre of Mahatamana in Antsirabe. It was led by Br Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa. 15 lay Marists and 6 aspirants were present.

Two documents have helped us to reflect and discuss about our real identity as lay Marists of Marcellin. The first document: “WATER from the ROCK” has reminded us that Marcellin built the Hermitage by hand from the rock; that the water from the Gier was an important source of life to the early community, and that the two images of WATER and ROCK convey the real essence of Marcellin’s Marist Apostolic Spirituality: to make people know and love Jesus, the living water and the rock on which we can rely.

The second document entitled “Around the same table” has reminded us of the fact that we are not merely friends, former pupils, colleagues, etc. of the Marist Brothers. Through the document, we could deepen our understanding of our place with regard to the Institute and the Church. In fact, we can now have a real appreciation of our role: we are lay Marists because we have answered God’s call: we are called to accomplish the same mission as the Marist Brothers. We are called to live together from the same Marist sources and be witnesses of Marcellin’s charism. Finally, we are called, as well, to live the same spirituality that “shapes the way we understand and relate to the world, to people and God.”

Reflection, discussion, prayers, meals “around the same table”, playing together and sleeping in the same house have indeed taught us to appreciate already the agreeable savour of Marist brotherhood.

Veronirina Raherimandimby

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